Zaremba Responds to Sen. Walker on Wired Glass Code Change

In response to Oregon Sen. Vicki Walker's comments concerning the recent ICC wired glass code change, Thomas Zaremba, representing the wired glass industry made the following statement to USGlass:

"It is unfortunate that a topic as serious as this would deteriorate into an exchange of press releases. As evidence of this, responses like Sen. Walker's are so replete with inaccuracies and hyperbole that the glass industry would be remiss not to correct the record. Without responding point-by-point, the facts are as follows:

· As many of your readers know, the ICC structural committee was charged with the responsibility for assessing the technical merits of S85-03/04. Prior to last week's vote, the structural committee voted by an overwhelming margin to disapprove S85-03/04. The reason for disapproval was succinctly stated by the committee: "The burden on the proponent to substantiate the proposal has not been met." No new evidence or information was presented at the hearing in Kansas to alter this conclusion.

· With over 225 votes cast, the code change was approved by a narrow margin of only nine votes.

· Contrary to what proponents of the proposal would have the general public believe, and consistent with the best body of data available, the wired glass product that is the subject of S85-03/04 represents the best product presently available for the intended application-i.e., fire related assemblies not found in hazardous educational occupancy locations or athletic facilities. There are alternative products available, but objective evaluations reveal that each presents its own set of issues, including risks to the health and safety of the general public. In fact, a code change proposal submitted by one of Senator Walker's own supporters would have allowed extensive use in schools of tempered glass unable to withstand thermal shocks typically experienced in building fires. Fortunately, this attempt to substantially reduce the fire protection afforded in our schools was disapproved, first by the Life Safety Committee and, again, in Kansas last week.

· Although Sen. Walker talks of "David" vs. "Goliath," the truth is that the corporate interests that funded and supported this proposal stand to gain significant market shares for their products that compete with wired glass if S85-03/04 is ultimately adopted.

Editor's note: We will accept one more response from Sen. Walker and will then no longer post rebuttals on USGNN.com


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